I think Humpty Dumpty’s arrogance in the Lewis Carroll classic, and our own, must come from a sense of insecurity. If we felt genuinely OK about ourselves, wouldn’t we be inclined to believe that others are basically OK as well?
Thomas Harris, in his 1967 I’m OK—You’re OK , delineates four situations of OK-ness or the lack of. I agree. Early in life (for me, it was the punishment for crying at age three and a half), something happens to propel us out of our feeling of safety and security and into one of not OK-ness. As we grow, our attitude may morph from ‘I’m Not OK, You’re OK,’ into ‘I’m Not OK and you aren’t either; or I’m OK but you’re Not’—all thinly camouflaging the continuation of our deeply-rooted feeling of Not OK-ness.
Harris also talks of the Parent-Adult-Child alive within each of us, each of which is constantly interacting with the others. My interpretation of his explanation is that our inner Parent, originally nurturing, becomes a judging Tyrant, a constant source of criticism of the Child. And the Child, the source of authentic feelings in the psyche, begins to feel like an Orphan, deprived of the nurture and love it needs to thrive. The Adult, the part that functions effectively in the environment, begins to feel l like a Victim of both inner and outer forces.
Is it any wonder then that all these inner Not-OK feelings would erupt in arrogance, anger, and projection?
In the 1970s I read an explanation of projection in human relationships, how we identify and judge in others the very faults that we have not addressed in ourselves. The idea interested me greatly, but it took nine years before I could finally see the reality of it in myself!
Our Inner Wisdom seeks to transform all our manifestations of not-Ok-ness into an OK-ness that erases negative attitudes and behaviors and makes us genuinely OK. What is needed is our engagement with an Inner voice until we come to trust that it can do what we most desire and haven’t been able to do for ourselves.